Apr 21, 2013 at 4pm UK at ​Riazor
DeportivoDeportivo La Coruna
1-1
Athletic Bilbao
Gama (38')
Riki (59')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Llorente (44')
Herrera (23'), Iturraspe (32'), Susaeta (50'), Ekiza (90')
Iturraspe (81')

Live Commentary: Deportivo La Coruna 1-1 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Deportivo la Coruna's Riazor Stadium
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Estadio Municipal de Riazor as Deportivo La Coruna draw 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao.

Deportivo La Coruna welcomed Athletic Bilbao to the Estadio Municipal de Riazor on Sunday looking to make it five consecutive league victories.

The home side took the lead five minutes before the break when Bruno Gama curled an effort into the top corner, but Fernando Llorente levelled it up with a header on the stroke of the interval.

Bilbao continued to boss proceedings in the second period, but they could not find a winner as the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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3.31pmAfternoon all! The first of our three back-to-back La Liga live commentaries comes from La Coruna as Deportivo welcome a struggling Athletic Bilbao side. A sensational run of form has lifted Deportivo out of the relegation zone, but they cannot afford to rest on their laurels, with just one point separating them from the drop.

3.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Deportivo have enjoyed the best of it with three wins from the last five matches, losing just once in the process. As mentioned, the reverse fixture at San Mames ended in a 1-1 draw, but Deportivo were 2-1 winners in the corresponding match last season. History points to a tight affair this afternoon.

3.37pmIt has been a quite stunning run of form for Deportivo, who have won each of their last four matches in the league. The fact that 12 points from four games has left them just outside the drop zone is an indication of just how far they were behind. In many people’s eyes, they were dead and buried. But that is simply not the case now.

3.40pmThat said, they have struggled on their own patch this season with just five wins from their 15 matches, losing seven times in the process. However, Bilbao are not good travellers with the Basque outfit winning just three from 15, losing nine times during that run of games. That statistic will certainly hand the home side confidence.

3.43pmTEAMS:

DEPORTIVO: Aranzubia; Pablo, Kaka, Aythami, Silvio; Valeron, Bergantinos, Dominguez; Riki, Gama, Pizzi

BILBAO: Iraizoz; Iraola, Aurtenetxe, Ekiza, Gurpegi; Susaeta, Iturraspe, Herrera; Llorente, Muniain, De Marcos


3.46pmSo there we have it. Big boost for the home side with Riki fit to return this afternoon, with the Spaniard joining Pizzi and Bruno Gama in attack. There is also a start for Brazilian defender Kaka. Interesting team selection for the away side, meanwhile, with Fernando Llorente and Iker Muniain both selected despite their troubles this season.

3.49pmDespite the fact that Bilbao are not in relegation trouble, it is hard to be impressed by their season. Long gone is the team that terrorised Manchester United in the Europa League last season, while the ongoing Llorente saga has certainly distracted some of their players. Overall, it has been a poor season for the club.

3.52pmHowever, a good run of form from now until the end of the season could see them finish around mid-table, which all things considered, would be accepted by the supporters. As mentioned, they have struggled on their travels this season, but their home record is quite good with seven wins from their 16 matches.

3.55pmTaking a look at the statistics, it is not difficult to see why Deportivo have struggled this season. They have conceded the joint-highest number of goals this season (63). However, Bilbao are not too far behind with 56. Down the other end, Deportivo have found the back of the net 42 times, eight more than Bilbao.

3.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Bilbao have named a strong side this afternoon, but I just have a feeling that Deportivo will continue their fine run of form. Home win for me.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news for this match. Riki returns for Deportivo, while there are also spots for the Brazilian Kaka - not that one! - and Alex Bergantinos. Meanwhile, Bilbao boss Bielsa selects Llorente and Munian in attack. Right, the away side get the action underway on this mild afternoon in La Coruna.

2 minIt must be said there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon. Depor have won each of their last four matches, but they have to continue that winning run to move clear of the bottom three. Bright start from the home side as Riki delivers a dangerous cross into the box, but Iraizoz comes to claim.

4 minDeportivo continue to force the issue in the early stages as they gain two corners in quick succession, but the first is cleared by Ekiza before Iraizoz is felled in the second. Bilbao attempt to advance down the other end with Susaeta, but Kaka is across to quell the danger. Lively opening stages to this match.

6 minFirst real involvement for Llorente as the Spaniard collects possession on the edge of the box before finding De Marcos, but the Spaniard's cross is straight into the arms of Aranzubia. Just a reminder that Llorente will indeed join Juventus on a free transfer at the end of the season. Can he justify his selection this afternoon?

8 minSlightly sloppy period of the match in the last couple of moments with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. A needless mistake from Kaka allows Bilbao the chance to whip a corner into the box, but Aythami is first on the scene to clear the danger. Good spell for the away side, but we still await the first real effort on goal.

10 minCHANCE! First opportunity of the match falls to the away side as Herrera cushions a header towards Susaeta in the Espanyol box, but it just evaded the Spaniard. Riki has a similar chance down the other end moments later, but he can only clip his header wide of the post.

12 minBetter football from the home side in the last couple of moments with Bergantinos and Dominguez seeing plenty of the ball, but the final pass has just been lacking thus far. You get the feeling that the first goal in this match - if there indeed is one - will be vital in terms of the final result. Still goalless with 12 minutes on the clock.

14 minBilbao have started this match with the look of a team that has nothing to lose - and that indeed is the case. They are not really in relegation trouble, while their chances of Europe are long gone. De Marcos is once more involved down the right, but his cross towards Llorente is collected by Aranzubia, before Herrera blazes wide moments later.

16 minBoth sides continue to enjoy good spells of possession, but aside from a couple of headers, neither team has really threatened to open the scoring thus far. Half-chance for Llorente as he striker turns and strikes from close range, but he can only scoop his effort over the crossbar.

18 minIt just isn't quite happening for the home side at the moment despite enjoying decent possession in attacking areas. You just get the feeling that the opening goal will come from a mistake rather than a piece of brilliance. Neither goalkeeper has been overly concerned in the opening 18 minutes of football.

21 minIt's good work from Riki as the striker drives past two players before delivering to the near post, but Iraola is across to make the clearance. Bilbao enjoy a period of possession down the other end, which ends in De Marcos searching out Llorente, but it comes to nothing, before the Spanish striker heads over moments later.

23 minRiki is involved for the home side once more as he collects possession outside the box, but he is felled by Ekiza. The resulting free kick is whipped into the box by Gama, but his delivery is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. Fairly underwhelming opening 23 minutes to this Spanish league fixture.

25 minSlightly scrappy period of the match in the last few moments with the referee called into action to deal with a number of late challenge. In fairness to the home supporters, they are creating such a bright atmosphere in the stadium. Unfortunately, the match has failed to live up to that standard thus far.

28 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Susaeta finds space in the box before cutting it back to Muniain, but Kaka is across to clear at the vital moment. In keeping with the end-to-end period of the match, Riki wins a free kick from Herrera moments later. However, the resulting set piece from Pizzi moves straight out for a goal kick.

30 minAnother half-chance for Bilbao as Herrera threads a pass towards De Marcos, but Aranzubia just does enough despite making a meal of the first clearance. Riki has possession down the other end moments later, but the striker can only fire over the crossbar. The opportunities are certainly starting to fall for both sides.

32 minThis is as well as I have seen Bilbao play this season, but they are struggling to find that final pass. There is no question that Llorente improved their team, but he will depart at the end of the season. Another deep corner comes into the Deportivo box towards Llorente, but Kaka manages to rise above the Spaniard to clear the danger.

35 minDeportivo just cannot keep hold of the ball at the moment as Bilbao continue to pass and probe outside the home side's penalty area. Even during Deportivo's recent resurgence, they have conceded a lot of goals, which places more pressure on their forward players. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, with the score still goalless.

37 minSAVE! Bilbao really are knocking on the door at the moment as Muniain finds space in the box before striking an effort from close range, but Aranzubia is out to make a fine save. It is quite incredible that the away side are not leading this match. Deportivo are holding on at the moment.

38 minThe opportunities continue to arrive as Llorente meets a cross from De Marcos, but he can only fire wide of the target. Despite the succession of opportunities, they have only hit the target once. Wouldn't it be just like Deportivo to go down the other end and nick one? Little over five minutes of the half remaining.

38 minGOAL! Deportivo 1-0 Bilbao (Gama)

39 minStunning, just stunning! Deportivo have not been in this match, but they take the lead. It's wonderful work from Gama as the Portuguese collects possession outside the box before curling a screamer into the top corner.

42 minDeportivo have certainly struggled to exert their influence in this match, but all of sudden they take the lead. Bilbao will be left feeling sick, they have dominated this match, but have not been able to take their chances. Little over three minutes of the first period remaining.

44 minThe home supporters are creating a party atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment as Gama has another effort from distance, but it was straight at the Bilbao goalkeeper. You just get the feeling that Bilbao need to hold firm in the latter stages of the first period.

44 minGOAL! Deportivo 1-1 Bilbao (Llorente)

45 minBilbao level in the latter stages of the first period as Llorente heads a De Marcos cross into the back of the net. Stunning header from the Spanish striker. That will have won over some of the supporters.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Deportivo 1-1 Bilbao

4.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. Despite Bilbao dominating the half, it was Gama that handed the home side the lead. However, that leader from Llorente has left it all square at the interval.

4.52pmSTATISTICS: The away side have dominated the possession with 61%, while they have had seven attempts to Deportivo's five. In truth, the home side are lucky to be on terms at this stage of the match. As it stands, they would move two points clear of the bottom three.

4.57pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a host of attacking options in the shape of Diogo Salomao, Nelson Oliveira and Ayoze, who have all impressed in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Bilbao have the likes of Ibai Gomez, Toquero and Aduriz in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not too surprising at this stage of the match. Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Osasuna against Real Sociedad. Right, the away side get the half underway.

48 minHalf-chance for Llorente in the early stages of the second period as the striker meets a cross from De Marcos, but he could only head over the crossbar. Depor have a similar opportunity down the other end courtesy of a header from Pizzi, but the same outcome arrives.

50 minEnd-to-end start to the second half with both sides prepared to commit numbers to each attack. Again it's really bright work from De Marcos as the Bilbao winger moves past two defenders before finding Herrera on the edge of the box, but his pace is immediately quelled by Kaka.

52 minThe home supporters really are creating a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon as the match continues to heat up. Herrera is again involved for Bilbao as he collects a pass from Susaeta before firing a low cross into the box, but it just would not fall for Muniain.

54 minOn the face of it, a point apiece would not be the worst of results for either of these two sides. It would move Deportivo another point clear of the bottom three, while Bilbao's performance has been really encouraging. But you just get the feeling that there are more goals in this match.

56 minLlorente is again the target for the away side as De Marcos delivers a dangerous cross towards the Spaniard, but Aranzubia comes through a host of players to make the clearance. It falls to Kaka in the box, but the Depor defender presents the ball straight back to the opposition. Bilbao are turning the screw here.

58 minSlightly scrappy period of the match in the last few moments with neither side taking too much care in the final third of the pitch. Depor attempt to force the issue as Riki drives down the right before finding Pizzi in the box, but the Portuguese just cannot gather under pressure from Iraola. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

61 minDeportivo's turn to enjoy a period of possession as Juan Dominguez whips a dangerous cross into the box, but it just would not fall for Riki. Bilbao have the ball down the other end moments later, but Muniain is ruled offside. Still no movement on either bench, although I expect that to change in the next 10 minutes or so.

63 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments, although Deportivo are enjoying more possession of the ball. Meanwhile, the referee has been called into action to deal with a number of late challenges. No real chances for either side as the second period continues to gather pace.

65 minLlorente wants a penalty as the Bilbao striker is bundled over in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. Deportivo continue to open up as they pass and probe outside the box, but there is no way through this Bilbao defence. Just a reminder that we have two of the worst La Liga defences on display this afternoon.

67 minThe end-to-end period of the match continues as Bilbao force two corners in quick succession, but the first is palmed over by Aranzubia before Llorente heads the second over the crossbar. Chances have been few and far between in the second period thus far. But you just get the feeling that opportunities will arrive.

69 minCHANCE! Clear opportunity for the away side as Iturraspe has an effort from close range, but Pablo gets across to make a fine save. Muniain picks up the pieces, but he can only curl his effort past the far post. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining.

72 minLlorente is again the target from a Susaeta cross, but he can only clip his header over the crossbar. The resulting set piece is also met by the Spaniard, but Aranzubia is on hand to make the save. He has been the standout player this afternoon there is no question about that. The score remains 1-1 with just about 18 minutes remaining.

74 minPOST! The pressure continues to grow as Llorente has two chances in quick succession, but the first is blocked before he hits the post with the second. Herrera picks up the pieces in the box, but he can only fire high and wide of the target. How on earth are Bilbao not in the lead?!

76 minChange for the home side as Valeron is replace by Paulo Assuncao, that will just allow the likes of Juan Dominguez and Bergantinos to involve themselves in advanced areas. Better from Deportivo in the last couple of moments, but Bilbao continue to look threatening with the power of Llorente.

78 minAnother half-chance for the away side as De Marcos evades two challenges before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Aranzubia comes through a host of players to make the clearance. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining. Somehow Deportivo are still in this match.

80 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for the away side as Llorente finds Herrera in the box, but he can only fire over the crossbar. Meanwhile, double change for the away side as Llorente and Muniain are replaced by Aduriz and Ibai Gomez.

82 minDeportivo have a half-chance of their own moments later, but Riki can only clip wide of the target from close range. In truth, the home side should be dead and buried in this match. The pressure continues to arrive from Bilbao, but they just cannot force the ball into the back of the net.

84 minRED CARD! The away side have been reduced to 10 men with Iturraspe receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence on Gama. It is harsh on the Spaniard, but it has handed the home side a real chance in the final five minutes of this match.

86 minDeportivo attempt to make use of their man advantage as Riki drives past two defenders before floating a cross into the box, but Iraizoz is on hand to tip over his own crossbar. Eventually a strike comes from Aythami, but it was always moving wide of the post.

88 minBilbao continue to force the issue as De Marcos beats two players before whipping a cross into the box, but it just would not fall for Aduriz, who had managed to pull clear of Kaka in the penalty area. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining, with the two sides still level at 1-1.

90 minIn truth, a draw is not the worst result for either of these two sides. However, Bilbao must be wondering how on earth they are not leading. Final change for the away side, meanwhile, as Aduriz is replaced by Mikel San Jose. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time.

90 min+3Not too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides seemingly intent on sharing the points. A half-chance does arrive for Depor as Pizzi swings a dangerous cross into the box, but Iraizoz comes through a host of players to make the clearance.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Deportivo 1-1 Bilbao

5.48pmSo there we have it. Llorente scores for Bilbao as the Basque outfit secure a 1-1 draw with Deportivo. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for action from Osasuna. Until then!

Levante's Sergio Ballesteros prior to kick off in his side's match against Motherwell on August 23, 2012
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